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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Austria is prosperous and stable. Nevertheless, it can still improve its economic performance to ensure a continuing rise in incomes and employment within a stable macroeconomic environment. To this end, a comprehensive package of structural and fiscal reforms can raise low GDP growth and ensure the steady decline of public debt. Financial system stability needs to be maintained in a challenging environment.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper estimates a dynamic model of foreign currency loans to households in Austria to analyze their behavior and assess the effectiveness of measures intended to stem their rise. This paper also studies the developments in Austria’s economic linkages with Germany and the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). It finds that there has been delinking from Germany, albeit measured, while economic relationships with key CEEC trading partners have become stronger. The paper also discusses the dynamics of Austria’s economic linkages with Germany, and examines these linkages with the CEECs.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents a comparison on public expenditure of Austria and other countries. In the past decade, Austria’s government expenditure growth has been very steady, thus avoiding the boom–bust pattern of some other European countries. However, expenditure levels are relatively high, and the difference with Germany has been widening. Compared with other countries, spending is particularly high for pensions, capital transfers and subsidies, including in the transport sector. According to economic classification, the composition of expenditure in the main categories has been more stable. Social benefits and transfers in kind, increasing by 0.7 percentage points between 2002 and 2012, have remained the highest component by far. Nevertheless, expenditure levels in Austria are relatively high, and the difference with Germany has been widening. A cross-country analysis of public spending by different type of categories shows several areas where spending stands out.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note assesses strengths and weaknesses of the macroprudential policy framework in Austria and provides policy recommendations. Financial sector resilience in Austria has improved significantly since the global financial crisis, and the macroprudential policy framework has been formalized. The institutional framework is appropriate for conducting macroprudential policy effectively, but it could be strengthened in some areas. However, some structural vulnerabilities to financial stability remain and cyclical risks are on the rise. Banks’ low efficiency and the resulting low profitability of domestic operations continues to be a key concern, especially given the fact that the Central Europe and South Eastern Europe region accounts for over 40 percent of Austrian banks' consolidated profits. The framework contains a clear mandate, well-defined objectives, and provides enough powers to the Financial Market Stability Board. Broad-based vulnerabilities remain contained but build-up of risks in the real estate sector warrants further action. The framework for addressing structural vulnerabilities is sophisticated, however, further improvements could be considered.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
La edición en Internet del Boletín del FMI, que se actualiza varias veces a la semana, contiene numerosos artículos sobre temas de actualidad en el ámbito de las políticas y la economía. Consulte las últimas investigaciones del FMI, lea entrevistas y escuche podcasts de los principales economistas del FMI sobre importantes temas relacionados con la economía mundial. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
L’édition web du Bulletin du FMI est mise à jour plusieurs fois par semaine et contient de nombreux articles sur des questions de politique générale et de politique économique d'actualité. Accédez aux dernières recherches du FMI, lisez des interviews et écoutez des podcasts proposés par les principaux économistes du FMI sur des questions importantes de l'économie mondiale. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Mr. Paul Louis Ceriel Hilbers, Angana Banerji, Haiyan Shi, and Mr. Willy A Hoffmaister
House prices in Europe have shown diverging trends, and this paper seeks to explain these differences by analyzing three groups of countries: the "fast lane", the average performers, and the slow movers. Price movements in the first two groups are found to be driven mostly by income and trends in user costs, and housing markets in these countries seem relatively more susceptible to adverse developments in fundamentals. Real house price declines among the slow movers are harder to explain, although ample supply, low home ownership, and less complete mortgage markets are likely factors. The impact of macroeconomic, prudential and structural policies on housing markets can be large and should be a factor in policy decisions.
Lucyna Gornicka and Ms. Laura Valderrama
We present a semi-structural model of default risk, which is a function of loan and borrower characteristics, economic conditions, and the regulatory environment. We use this model to simulate bank credit losses for stress-testing purposes and to calibrate borrower-based macroprudential tools. The proposed approach is very flexible and is particularly useful when there is limited history of crisis episodes, when crises bring unanticipated shocks where past tail events offer little guidance and when structural shocks or changes in financial regulations have altered the loan default process. We apply the model to quantify mortgage lending risk in two distinct mortgage markets. For each application, we show a range of modeling adjustments that can be made to capture country-specific institutional features. The model uses bank portfolio data broken down by risk bucket and vintage, which enables us to take explicit account of the loan life cycle and to incorporate the housing and economic cycles. This feature facilitates a timely assessment of banks’ loss-absorbing capacity and the buildup of systemic risk conditional on policy. It also enables counterfactual analysis and the evaluation of macroprudential policy interventions.